EyeSwoon

As much as I may love dolling out advice on cooking and sharing my recipes with y’all, I am not a professional chef. So, you can imagine my excitement when the opportunity comes around to be schooled by a pro, total swoon!

I still get nervous and mildly insecure about my abilities when I step inside a professional kitchen, which is how I hope to always feel.  I am often childlike in my eagerness to soak it all in – I ask a ton of questions…am I holding my knife correctly, is this diced to your approval?  I am both a people pleaser and a perfectionist, after all.  Even more nerve wracking than new kitchen territory is when I have never met the chef before (yikes!), as was the case at Eveleigh in LA when cooking with Chef Jared Levy.

I first ate at Eveleigh a year ago and was instantly swooned by both the vibrant & seasonal food and by the perfectly curated & effortlessly rustic décor.  My dear friend Lincoln Pilcher is a partner in the restaurant and after feasting on the most divine pea and ricotta crostini, which I then recreated a-la-Athena on EyeSwoon, I begged him to allow me into the kitchen to capture the magic.  And so, a few months ago I did just that!

Chef Jared and I created a refreshing cold zucchini soup with sweet and succulent crab atop (no I had never pulled crab apart – ehhhhwwwwwww!), finished with a textural crunch and some seriously swoony evvo. Oh, and we can’t forget the touch of lemon juice added to brighten and elevate the entire dish and the stunning lavender chive blossoms.  This very dish might epitomize how food and beauty unite to create a swoon-worthy dish!  Chef Jared welcomed me into his ridiculously hot kitchen and admittedly, we were both a touch shy at first (me wanting to be on my best behavior and all), but by the end we were like old east coast friends giggling & kooking out. We ended this dreamy day sharing the food we crafted together in the stunning front garden and a glass of cider together to celebrate our collaboration!  I truly love what I do! #SWOON #SWOON #SWOON

Photography by Emily Knecht.

California Stone Crab with Heirloom Zucchini Soup

Chef Jared Levy

  • Ingredients

      • 3 Romanesco Heirloom Zucchini (can sub regular green zucchini)
      • 2 cloves garlic chopped
      • ½ white onion chopped fine
      • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
      • 5 cups vegetable stock
      • Salt and pepper to taste
      • 2 ounces picked California stone crab meat (can sub dungeness)
      • 1 lemon
      • Chicken skin to taste
      • 1 thin slice of rustic bread for crostini

       

  • The Prep

    • Bake the chicken skin on a cookie sheet in a 400° F oven until golden brown and crispy. Season with salt and pepper.

      Sweat the onions and garlic in ½ of the olive oil on low heat. Once tender, add the zucchini and sweat until zucchini is tender. Do not allow browning. Season lightly with salt and pepper.

      Add ½ the vegetable stock to the onions and garlic, slow cook until extra tender. Approx 10 minutes.

      Put hot vegetable mixture in a blender and pulse on high. Add vegetable stock until the mixture blends smoothly. Add the remaining olive oil and continue to blend. Add salt and pepper to taste.

      Put the mixture in a metal bowl and cool quickly over an ice bath. (You can just cool in the fridge, but you may lose some of the bright green color.)

      Toast the crostini in an oven or toaster until golden and crispy. Season gently with salt and pepper.

      Plate the dish by adding the cool soup to a bowl of your choice. Position the crab and crostini where you please. Garnish with crispy chicken skins and a squeeze of lemon. You can also garnish with a spoonful of olive oil and any chopped herbs of your choice.

       

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